Chipmunks and scarecrows October 25, 2006Posted by dorigo in language, personal, physics, science.
Arrived at Fermilab after a 15-hour journey, I discovered I needed to study a 51-pages document, the Radiological Worker Training guide. Tomorrow morning, in fact, I need to take that test, in order to be able to do my shift as Scientific Coordinator on the coming Friday, for the following week.
I read the guide 8 years ago, and reading it again sounds at times familiar and at times new. I did remember two very weird-sounding words I had found 8 years ago, and which had kept me wondering what the hell they really were… Chipmunks and scarecrows. Okay, once you read the sentence, even if you are not an English native speaker you may understand what these things are:
“Chipmunks and scarecrows are used to monitor radiation fields due to accelerator operations. If you are working in an area and hear one of these instruments unexpectedly alarm, alert others; immediately leave the area; contact the Main Control Room.”
Ok, the sentence does give away that these are 1) instruments; 2) they produce an alarm sound; 3) they do so upon detecting radiation. But they still look mysterious…